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Forum: Editors/Reviewers Hangout

Brand new and wondering...


Hi, folks. I =thought= I had finished parts of my first story and I could start posting it. Foolish, foolish me!

So, I read "da rulez" .. and now I don't understand =any=thing! Especially about .. 'formatting'?? Does anyone want to take a shot at explaining "thiiiiings" to me, or should I just go away?

I'm a 'geezer-type', so just going away wouldn't be that big a deal for me. Especially since most of what I've written is a sci-fi/political mix .. I think .. sort of. In any case, "no sex," just in case that means anything.

If anyone is interested, please contact me via Email -- -- and thank you very much.



I wish I could but since I'm equally coding savvy, I only can offer a link to SOL's 'Text Formatting Information & Guide'.

I also offer encouragement If I could manage to submit a story here on SOL than you'll succeed as well.


awnlee jawking


I write my stories in Open Office's emulation of Word (.doc). When I'm ready to post, I convert the story to plain text and copy and paste the text into SOL's story submission wizard. The most sophisticated thing I do is to sometimes manage to add chapter headings.

What writing tools are you using? Knowing that, I'm sure some of the regulars here will be able to hold your hand through the posting process,




I write in Word and save as .HTM when I am ready to post.

The nice thing about that is that over, say, plain text, is that you can preserve your formatting (Bold, underline, italics) paragraph indents and structure, lines to separate between story elements and so on.

Then, when you post your story, just upload the .htm file itself.

Ernest Bywater

You may find this useful.


You may also find this freebie guide of use:


It discusses everything from dealing with abuse to setting up page and paragraph style formats then on to html coding for websites etc.

Crumbly Writer

Your best bet is to do exactly as you're doing (i.e. reformatting your MS WORD documents into html and then submitting those to SOL). As long as you keep the formatting to the basics (italics and bolding), you're covered.

If you want to get fancy, you can include publishing marks ('smart' quotes (those that curl inwards to differentiate the start and end of a quote) or ellipses, then you'll need to learn some basic html coding (to know which characters to substitute).

The most significant formatting issues are your section breaks (i.e. when either the scene changes, either because time passes, the location changes or the character's POV changes (from one character to another). That's easy too, you simple include a separate line with "* * *" and that's it. Easy peasy!

Now, if you ever want to get fancy, several of us have explored the various front in the formatting issue, and we can guide you through the rough patches. But for now, it's best to stick to the basics and just tell your story in words alone. There's enough time later, once you've established yourself, to play about with perfecting your stories' visual appeal.

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